Trieu: Michigan trending up for No. 1 TE Nauta
Michigan faithful who attended Saturday's game against Michigan State, and those that watched on television, may be taking the last-second loss to the Spartans hard. But a silver lining comes in the form of recruiting visitors, not nearly as invested in the outcome as fans, who all reported positive reactions following their day in Ann Arbor.
That includes several official visitors who are among the Wolverines' top priorities as they look to close down the 2016 class.
Few are as high-profile as Isaac Nauta, the nation's top-ranked tight end.
A Georgia native who now plays at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, Nauta visited with his aunt and two cousins who live in Grand Rapids.
"I was surprised, very surprised by how much I liked it at Michigan," Nauta told Scout's Chad Simmons. "It was just a great experience up there. This visit opened my eyes. Michigan moved up my list and everything was great there. The football program is going in the right direction and a Michigan degree carries a lot of weight."
Nauta plans to take more visits through the end of the season and into the winter before announcing a commitment on Jan. 9 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Stanford cornerback commit David Long says he chose not to go into the locker room following the game, electing to give the players their space. Both he and fellow California defensive back Lamar Jackson spent time with Jake Butt, Jourdan Lewis and other players following the game and were impressed with how the Wolverines handled the loss.
"Everyone had high spirits," Jackson said to The Michigan Insider's Sam Webb. "In my eyes they won. They won. It's just something (fluky) like that happened in the last 10 seconds. That's football. It was crazy because we were waiting to get on the field the last 10 seconds before it happened. It was just crazy to hear 100,000 people go quiet. But the coaches handled it well. They told me they should have gotten that one, but at the same time (the coaches and players) are not blaming (each other)."
Long added: "It was a great visit, I liked it there a lot. The highlight for me had to be meeting Coach Harbaugh. Coach Harbaugh is great and bring so much passion and energy. He's very active and the whole staff has a ton of energy, as well. That's the kind of energy you want from a head coach because it affects the entire program."
Long also visited Notre Dame officially and still hopes to see Washington at some point. He says he is still committed to Stanford at this time, but is considering other options.
Jackson, who admitted the visit improved Michigan's standing with him, will take one more visit before holding his announcement until January during the Under Armour All-American Game.
UM commit continues reeling in offers
Farmington linebacker David Reese, a Wolverine commit since last spring, has recently been offered by Texas and Nebraska. He visited Michigan on Saturday and says he is still committed, but does plan to take a visit to Texas.
One important consideration for him is early enrollment. Both Nebraska and Texas have room for him to enroll in their winter semester and go through spring practices, while Michigan has told him they do not.
Reese is having an outstanding season with already more than 100 tackles and four sacks.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.